Monday, December 8, 2014

Cracking the code of FEAR

      We are slowly but surely figuring this kid out. He's got some pretty interesting fears, but as he gets older and more reasonable, I can sometimes reason with him... at least when the fears are, well... somewhat reasonable. :) All his fears root back to control. When Mr Boy feels like a situation or thing is unpreictable or uncontrollable, he gets upset. This traces back to all the times he was held down in the hospital and had traumatic procedures done to him outside of his control.

       Now I know we told you that when we moved to Colorado, all Mr Boy's fears melted away. Well it seemed as such. But when Skittle was born, Mr Boy lost a lil sense of control and some fears came flooding back. They were still no where near as bad as before, but nevertheless, some fears returned.

      One fear that has never ceased to persist, is that of water. I tried using reverse psycology on him all summer to desensitize him to his fear of water. I would take him to the fountains at the outdoor mall and say we are just going to watch... not get wet. That took the pressure off, gave him back the control and allowed him to choose when he wanted to get wet. We went somewhere with water at least once a week. I also set up a pool in the backyard "just to clean it off." Here is a video of how that went:

      Although we made huge strides toward liking water this summer, Mr Boy still breaks down in tears and starts to throw up at the thought of a bath (we sponge bathe only) and sometimes even the thought of a clear cup where he can see the water moving - wont touch it. Twice in his life we successfully got him in a bath only to have him refuse and panic the next time. Last week however, he saw his sister enjoying a bath and asked if he could get into the baby tub. I said "YES!" as any mother who has never been able to actually bathe her child would… and quickly tossed Skittle from the infant tub (I laid her gently down but 'tossed' is more exciting), and got Mr Boy squeezed in before he could change his mind. He enjoyed a few baths while squished into the infant tub and now will only play in the baby tub from the side of the tub, where he is safe and dry, but even that is still a gain. "No bubbles and no water in the big tub," as Mr Boy says, but at least he is playing in water with his hands in a baby bath. Win.

But we have also gained a lot of ground in other areas:

-At some point this summer, Mr Boy was frightened while playing on his ipad, which he has loved since he was 2, at which point he decided it was evil and didn't touch it for 2 months. I had an epiphany one day and suddenly remembered the incident which brought about this new fear. He had an app open on the ipad which played music in the background. Mr Boy was ignoring it and playing with cars on the floor when he noticed the screen was black (it had gone into sleep mode) but the music was still playing. (This was unpredictable and seemingly out of his control) That freaked him out and he was never to touch the ipad again. I recounted this incident to him and told him "This is why you are scared of it" (he was never able to tell me why he was afraid of it before). I said, "Let me fix it for you," and proceeded to turn the ipad off and on again, "fixing" the problem and then explained why the ipad acted that way, and bam! He has played with it every day since.

Basement Playroom
-Also, since we moved into our home in May, Mr Boy has never played in our basement playroom. All his toys are in there, it's finished and has tons of natural light, so it's not your typical scary basement scenario. Regardless, I just couldn't get him to play with me down there or mention it with him starting to throw up or cry. However, a few weeks ago, I had another epiphany: He got scared once when we were down there for a few minutes gathering toys to bring upstairs because one of the baskets of toys got bumped and a toy started making noise. (This was again, unpredictable and seemingly out of his control). So he and I ceremoniously took the batteries out of each and every toy in the basement and bam! Now he loves it down there!

-Mr Boy also spent the summer in our living room or front yard. He very much disliked the thought of going in the back yard and would throw up (he's an axious vomitter, as kids who suffer from severe reflux can be) and cry if I mentioned it because "there were bugs." This he told me this straight up. We all know there are just as many bugs in the front yard as in the back, but some bug scared him in the backyard, so it was off limits, regardless of logic. This was very sad for me because part of the reason we bought the home was because of the large backyard. We have a tiny front yard, and I think the neighbors were starting to think we were "those weird neighbors" who were always out front. Once fall hit, I was able to honestly tell him that as it got cooler, there wouldn't be so many bugs in the backyard, and bam! Now we play back there everyday!

-And at preschool, Mr Boy never played on the playground. He would walk around on the basketball court while all the other kids played on the playset on the playground. He wouldn't tell me why. But one day last week (3 months into school) he finally walked up onto the playground and went down the slide! Slides have always been a deterrent for him, but he overcame!

      So although he still has some funny fears, at least he is finally able to be reasoned with to a certain degree. He is better able to process his fears and see that they are unnessasary or at least put them to words. This is a new refreshing season. Thanking the Lord for every victory and "epiphany" and for giving us wisdom and insight into Mr Boy's heart.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Colorado Doctors

It took nearly 8 months, endless medical history request forms, 100s of pages of New Patient documents, and countless hours on the phone with our insurance, hospital appointment schedulers and home medical suppliers, but we finally got acquainted with all Mr Boy's new doctors here in Colorado. Here is a list of all those doctors and their thoughts on the future:

1. Pediatrician- Partners in Pediatrics
2. Gastroenterology - Jason Soden, Children's Hospital Colorado
3. General Surgery- Rebecca Jacobsen, Children's Hospital Colorado 
4. Orthopedics - Gaia Georgopoulos, Children's Hospital Colorado
5. Orthopedics - Travis Heare - Children's Hospital Colorado
6. Neurosurgery - Todd Hankinson, Children's Hospital Colorado
7. Urology - Duncan Wilcox, Children's Hospital Colorado
8. Bowel Management - John Bealer  Children's Hospital Colorado
9. Pediatric Oral Feeding Clinic at Children's Hospital Colorado

Medically, Mr Boy is doing AMAZINGLY WELL.  All his new doctors said the same thing…"He is just doing so well for a child with his condition." They were all blown away by his health.  Praise the Lord!!